About the Artist...

As a landscape painter, the emphasis of my watercolors is on the elements of color, shape, value and light, inviting the viewer to see the subject from a unique perspective. To accomplish this goal, I focus on more intimate views of the landscape. Many of my landscapes have a high horizon line, thus bringing more attention to the foreground and details that might be passed over. Every subject that I paint starts with a basic abstract pattern of shapes and values. This helps to simplify the subject and to eliminate unnecessary detail and invites the viewer to engage in the subject and fill in the details.

I use a three-step process for my paintings: save the whites and pour light values to tone the paper, add mid-tone large shapes, finish with dark values and smaller shapes for contrast and detail. Most of my paintings start with a poured under-painting of two or three colors over the entire sheet, letting these colors mix freely on the paper and creating wonderful color transitions across the page. Whites are saved before pouring, by using masking fluid or leaving areas dry. The poured wash represents the lightest values in the painting and insures that these colors will be there to add a glow to the finished piece. Each composition is painted as a whole, rather than focusing on sections of the painting separately. Colors used are chosen specifically for each painting and typically, only 3-4 colors are used in each painting, creating beautiful harmony and bright, clean color.

Biographical Information

Catherine Hearding has more than 45 years of experience painting in watercolor. She earned a BA degree in zoology and botany from the University of Montana (1974). Catherine designed and marketed a line of watercolor notecards featuring her designs, from 1974 until 1990. In the 1990s, Catherine’s focus shifted to painting the landscape and she began exhibiting her paintings locally in 2001. In 2006, she first entered her work in national exhibitions.

Catherine is a past president of the Minnesota Watercolor Society and holds signature status in the American Watercolor Society, the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Watercolor USA Honor Society, Louisiana Watercolor Society, Missouri Watercolor Society, Minnesota Watercolor Society and Red River Watercolor Society. She has received many local awards and a number of national awards, including: American Watercolor Society (High Winds Medal, 2019), Adirondack National Exhibition of American Watercolors (Exhibition Award, 2021, Finer Family Award, 2016, Pulsifer Award, 2014 and Trails and Streams Medallion, 2011), Hudson Valley Art Association (Mary Bryan Memorial Award for Watercolor, 2022), Louisiana Watercolor Society (President’s Award, 2013), Watercolor USA (Museum purchase award, 2011), Missouri National Watercolor Exhibition (Sutherland Lumber Co. Award, 2010), Red River Watercolor Society (Silver Award, 2009). Her work is found in many private and public collections including the Springfield Art Museum (Springfield, MO).

Other recent national and international exhibitions which have included Catherine’s work are the American Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, International Watermedia, National Watercolor Society, Watercolor Missouri International Exhibition, Qingdao, China, and Louisiana Watercolor Society. Her work has been included in Northlight Books “Splash 14”, “Splash 16” and "Splash 24".

Catherine has been teaching courses in basic watercolor techniques since 2004. She also teaches a full schedule of classes and workshops in color theory, landscape painting and composition. She works from her home studio in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.

9901 Tapestry Grove, Lake Elmo MN 55042
(651) 777-8158 or cathy@chearding.com
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